Sampler Spree, QALs & Friends

Sampler Spree, QALs & Friends

Written by: 
Carrie Nelson

There are two things to share today - one of the reasons why we love quilt-alongs, and how to participate in the Sampler Spree QAL.

CT Susan Ache SS Friends Susan V Book

Sampler Spree by Susan Ache - photo by Susan Vaughan.

While making and creating is a somewhat individual process, one of the joys has always been sharing it with friends and other like-minded makers.  I know I'm not alone in texting pictures of blocks to friends, asking their opinions on colors and settings... is this too mushy?  It's a true friend who can tell you that she loves you very much, but this quilt is "not your best idea..."

The designer Tom Ford wrote - The most important thing in life is the connection we make with others

This past year has tested how we make those connections, and how we kept them going.  Who didn't bond over tips for alternatives to elastic?  

CT Susan Ache SS Friends Blocks Design Wall

Susan Ache's Sampler Spree blocks on her design wall - diagonal setting?

On my computer desktop here at work, I have something I snipped from one of those influencer/female-driven blogs... maybe it was Pinterest.  One of those.  It's a numbered list titled "The Girlfriend Way" and two of the entries fit here - 1.  Foster creativity, inspiration and fun.  5.  Nurture friendships to last for a lifetime.  (The first letter from each of the six entries spell FRIEND.)

CT Susan Ache SS Friends Susan V

Susan Vaughan - Winter Solstice, a quilt she designed and shared on the Fig Tree & Co. blog.

So now that we're making plans for making something just for fun, we agreed with Susan that one of the most important things was that this felt like sewing with friends.  Our "girlfriends" - whether they're female or not.  They're close friends, and those we only know from a distance, people we wanted to spend time with, people who make us happy.

A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be.  Winnie the Pooh

CT Susan Ache SS Friends Greg

Greg Jones - Stitch Pink 2020 Blocks.

The first group we asked to join us are quilters-makers who we'd happily go on a retreat with.  They are Susan Vaughan, Hildy Ebertzeder, Greg Jones, Kristine Long and Erica Ericsson.  Then we asked the Moda Block Heads designers if they wanted to play along.  They're in too!

We'll share everybody's Instagram, Facebook and blog links next week.

CT Susan Ache SS Friends Hildy

Hildy Ebertzeder - Moda Block Heads 3 Assorted Blocks.

We also wanted a group that would be open to sharing what they know, and what they don't know.  Not all of us live near a quilt shop, or belong to a guild or quilt group.  Some of us are returning to quilting after many years, and a few of us are here to learn something new.  From asking opinions about colors to asking for help on why there seems to be a bit of "poof" to a few of my our blocks, is encouraged.  Or having a friend to commiserate when something isn't quite right...

CT Susan Ache SS Friends Swoonish

Mine.  Swoonish?  (True story - I did this twice.)

A journey well-shared is a journey well-enjoyed.  Unknown.

So how do you "join" the Sampler Spree QAL.  There are three ways to get the weekly assignments.

First - join the Moda Block Heads Facebook group. Susan will be posting there every Wednesday.  There will be alternate settings, and a couple of projects that can be made with just one or two blocks, and those patterns will be shared in the Facebook group.  Susan has also shared a few tips, some inspiration, and she's great at answering questions about fabrics, blocks, sewing and ice cream.

CT Susan Ache SS Friends Erica

Erica Ericsson - Farmhouse Block of the Month 2019 from Fig Tree & Co.

This is a Private group so you will need to send a Member Request.  While it is not required, I recommend answering the Member questions.  Why?  First, you might get an Automatic Approval as answering the questions is one of the criteria for that. 

Second - follow Susan on Instagram - @yardgrl60.  She'll be sharing there too, with links when they're required.  And be sure to use the #samplerspreeqal to share your blocks.

CT Susan Ache SS Friends RW Sampler

Susan Ache - Red & White Sampler, circa 2018.  (She just started making blocks.)

Third - we will be sharing everything here, on Moda's The Cutting Table blog, every Wednesday morning.  The Sampler Spree QAL posts will publish by 7:00 AM CST.  Or you can sign up for e-mail delivery - The Cutting Table Newsletter.  That starts sending shortly after 8:00 AM CST, but when you actually receive it will vary.

If you have questions or concerns, I hope you'll leave a comment.  (Comments are moderated so don't worry if it doesn't appear right away... like until the next day.)

Quilt-along stitchers - Instagram / Facebook / Blog:

CT Susan Ache SS More Sampler Spree Blocks

Susan's Sampler Spree blocks... if you had these on your design wall, wouldn't you play with them for awhile too?

We're back next week with a final checklist. 

I hope you have a wonderful day... and that you're spending at least part of it with friends.

For a PDF of this blog post - Sampler Spree QALs and Friends

If you missed any of the earlier posts with Susan:

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